Sunday, July 23, 2017

My brother voted for Jill Stein. I unfriended him on FB.

A great disappointment and heartbreak of my life.

It took me years to let go of the past that he is part of. 

You can turn your cheek forever for some and not win their respect. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jesus as Hard to Find as Sasquatch - So I Worship #SasquatchJesus...

Jesus as Hard to Find as Sasquatch - So I Worship #SasquatchJesus...


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Columbia College 1851 - (1896 illustration)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Did part of Ben Franklin's House exist up until the early part of the 20th Century?

Did part of Ben's house exist up until the early part of the 20th century? Background.

I ran into this photo circa 1910 regarding Franklin Court and I was reminded of a discussion on a NYC architectural interest forum, two years back, about how the original King’s College Main Hall of the original Columbia University in New York City, downtown and a block or two from city hall, how it probably got chopped up into sections, and sold off piecemeal rather than being totally demolished in the 1850s. 

The conversation was part of the then current so-called controversy of the Cordoba Mosque being built two blocks over from the World Trade Center. The so-called World Trade Center mosque was a foreign real estate thing with the taking over of the old Sym’s Men’s Clothing store and turning it into a mosque where mostly cab drivers could say prayers in a busy schedule.

The eventual plan was to tear down what was left of some nineteenth century cast iron fronted buildings tied together in that old clothing store, where I used to buy a few suits BTW, and build a thirteen story building to also contain office space, health/gym center and of course a place for prayer. 

In the course of the discussion it got mentioned that 49-51 Park Place was on the site of the original King’s College building. With the help of online lot maps with the city of New York, some interesting ideas developed. One was that the lots on Park Place were irregular in size. That the smallest lot on Park Place was likely to have been the structure directly beneath the cupola in the photo. 

There is a sketchy history attached to the move of King’s College before the revolution, Columbia College after the revolution, moving uptown to the present site of Rockefeller Center until about 1910 when it moved further uptown to the Morningside Heights campus on a hill overlooking Harlem at 116th Street and Broadway.

A modern idea is that you demolish and build fresh. (Urban Renewal?)

It would appear that the old King’s college building got sold off piecemeal with some parts demolished and some others still standing as stores until late in the nineteenth century. That some of the the basement walls of the old Sym’s store may be in fact part of still intact foundation walls of the original King’s College etc. But that is New York and money trumps history every day of the week there especially when it comes to real estate.

That to do this suggests a great deal of frugality on the people, their time and mindset, buying pieces of the building, recycling them, and also buying a chunk of a previous continuous building that could stand in pieces that stood on solid foundation walls and or solid interior supporting walls. Thus the irregular nature of some of the lots on Park Place according to that discussion documented below...

Getting back to Franklin Court, Hudson Street, S. Orianna St. and or the original Ben Franklin house torn down around 1810 to be subdivided into lots and make money for his descendants, the thought occurred to me that this, what looks like a large building 17 S. Orianna Street, would be built from scratch in almost an alleyway and described as a street. Perhaps it could be a recycled part of the original Franklin house or part of a three story addition built in 1785.

Considering Franklin’s wealth and interest in solid fire proofing with plaster in the construction, that the addition may have survived because it could stand on its own and that the street was positioned accordingly. Frugality plus room for a tidy profit too.

Can’t find anything online regarding when 17 S. Orianna Street was demolished, probably in the great tsunami of urban renewal in the 1950s.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Pay to Play - Vatican Ambassador's Seat Goes to Highest Bidder - Newt Gingrich

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Memory of the Saturday Night Massacre at the DOJ October 20, 1973

Memory of the Saturday Night Massacre at the DOJ October 20, 1973

Archibald Cox

This is one minor footnote or view of an important event in history.

With the Tuesday Afternoon Massacre yesterday with James Comey at FBI being fired for doing his job by the world's worst American CEO Donald J Trump and his elves Jeff Session and Rod Rosenstein over at "Justice" (a place and certainly not lately a civilized American concept).

It occurred to me at the time, a flashback to 1973, when the Media made the announcement in such a bungled way that they themselves set off part of the firestorm reaction to the firing of Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and others at DOJ who refused to fire him in the chain of command. 

The announcement came to me on CBS in the last five minutes of the highest rated show of the week All in the Family. Season 4 Episode 6 went black during a commercial with a stationary "Special Bulletin" letters posted on the black screen. 

It was all well and good to make an announcement but this got lost for at least sixty seconds, which IMO created anticipated suspense and possible anxiety connected to a national disaster. A similar scenario had only aired one afternoon on November 22, 1963 ten years earlier when "they" killed JFK, near my birthday.

There were sounds, people talking, even yelling, noises, of equipment dropping, of director's commands and the shuffles of papers. Radio and no pictures.

That was the longest 60 odd seconds of my life until then. Then some CBS news talking head came on to announce the massacre details. 

I so not think that the American public had noticed or cared much about Watergate until that very real uncertain moment in TV History. After that moment, they focused.

The letter I wrote that night in long hand and mailed immediately, the local mail box was only two doors away on the street corner in Philly. 

October 20, 1973

Hon. William J. Green (Phila., Pa.)

House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 

Dear Congressman Green:

This citizen is of the opinion that the President has 

abused the office to which he has been elected 
and should be impeached and removed from office.

                                                                                     Yours truly, 


Monday, May 8, 2017

Pre-Existing Conditions, Golf Glutton, Cronies, Religious Freedom


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Happy R those who H8 in the name of 'da Lord.

Happy R those who H8 in the name of 'da Lord.

Trump' s "religious freedon" EO unconstitutional.

Separation church/state. First Amendment.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Donald Trump — public-relations master By SYDNEY H. SCHANBERC (Newsday) - 1987

Donald Trump —
public-relations master


(Run in the Finger Lakes Times Opinion Page, Geneva NY September 14, 1987)

Every time you look up, there he is — the world's most successful public relations man. He's in Moscow trying to talk the communists into luxury-hotel capitalism. He has become the gambling king of the East Coast and is now reaching for a casino in Australia. He says he is John Cardinal O'Connor's adviser on real estate, and according to one published account, gave the cardinal as a character reference on his application for a Nevada gaming license. He has issued a kind of press-release foreign policy, and a Republican operative in New Hampshire is trying to draft him for the presidency.

That's not even the quarter of it. He recently bought his own private Boeing 727 with two bedrooms and a sauna, after which he commissioned the world's longest limousine. He continually makes big rolls on the stock market, manipulating certain prices higher, at which point he sells for impressive profits. For all his wealth, he manages to get big tax abatements on his luxury apartment projects in New York City. He feuds with the mayor and calls him a moron and worse. His autobiography, "Trump by Trump," is due out this winter. And there's got to be a sequel, because he is only 41 years old.

The part I like best about Donald Trump is his deep and abiding concern for the homeless and the poor. He never misses an opportunity to tell us — in print, on radio and on television — how very upset he is about the working-class people who can't afford decent apartments at the going rates and about those who end up completely shelterless, living on the streets. It's terrible, he says, as he dedicates his latest condominium tower for the moneyed, with his name in giant letters on it.

And even last week, when he purchased full-page ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe calling for more "backbone" in America's foreign policy, he took care to include an expression of his pain over the plight of the troubled among us. He said we ought to stop carrying wealthy nations like Japan and Saudi Arabia on our backs and instead make them pay us for defending them militarily in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. Then we could take these billions of dollars and use them to "help our farmers, our sick, our homeless.

It came as no surprise that Mayor Edward Koch, another public-relations virtuoso and thus a rival of Donald Trump's for the world title, sneered at the foreign-policy ads and said that as a politician, Trump was "a flop" and "a schoolboy." Trump responded by calling Koch a "jerk" and "a loser who will go down as the worst mayor in the history of the city."

They've gone through this routine before, so it's quite polished by now. In their last go-around, which had Something to do with Trump's grab big tax abatements, the mayor called him "Piggy, Piggy, Piggy" and Trump purred back with "moron."

It's not always easy to understand their spitting matches, given that they're so much alike in their religion: Mirror Worship. Not only that, but Koch is just as verbal a champion of the downtrodden as is Trump — so that's something else they have in common.

Never the less a new chapter in the sandbox war opened Thursday. Trump, smarting over Koch's barbs about his international views, volunteered some insults about Koch's plans to visit Nicaragua as head of a fact-finding group. "How can our idiot mayor go to Nicaragua," Trump asked, "when he can't even run New York City? The man is totally incompetent ..." and more of the same. The only thing Trump left out this time (he must have been so overwrought he forgot) was a sentence about poor people.

After he got through reading his anti-Koch remarks to a New York Newsday reporter, he said, "I know you guys like this kind of stuff." He's right. That's what makes him the master of public relations that he is.

He can deny all he wants any designs on the White House, but Trump has the kind of instincts that are perfect for the age we live in — the age of stage smoke and magic mirrors and imagery. He looks out and sees public-relations mayors and public-relations senators and a public-relations president. In short, he sees the kind of men we admire and elect these days and he naturally asks; Why not me?

For example, he offered us a couple of years ago his belief that he could do a better job at negotiating arms control with the Soviet Union than "the kind of representatives that I have seen in the past." Blowing high-grade smoke, he added: "It would take an hour and a half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles. I think I know most of it anyway." .

When Trump bought Resorts International's casino and extensive properties in Atlantic City earlier this year, he said he felt a sense of social responsibility to the slum-ridden New Jersey casino city and was therefore going to build housing there for families with small pocketbooks.

"With the vast land holdings we now have, we want to create some moderate- and low-income housing on a private basis," Trump said. "So far, nobody has been able to do it, but we have an opportunity now and we are making a commitment to do it."

That was on March 19. On July 23, he amended his pledge. He said that Resorts had big financial pressures and "must straighten out its affairs" first. This meant, he said, that until he completes the costly Taj Mahal — a new casino that he has under construction,which will be the world's largest — the low-income housing will have to wait.

The March commitment got substantial news coverage; the July pullback was hardly noticed.

In an age where smoke is everything, Donald Trump can blow it with the best of them.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Philly Tale - The Donald Trump Story - The Not So Great Gatsby

A Philly Tale

Now that Trump's legacy is turning into toast, maybe it is time to say how somebody like Trump got to where he is now.

In the Seventies, finding a place to hide out from his office responsibilities, young Donald found himself sometimes killing an afternoon watching recent and vintage flicks at an artsy film house in the Village near NYU - all for a buck fifty. 

For some reason this one film house was still showing the bomb of the 1974 Robert Redford's film The Great Gatsby. He of course identified with the rich handsome blond dude Redford aka Gatsby. 

The other story line of Nick and Daisy got lost in the slowness of the firm, so Donald daydreamed which is what he was good at all his life. 

The Nick character reminded him on the one time he ate Pizza in Philly with his ritzy U of P purebreds. Nick reminded him of the time he had a moment of sudden passion in his mind with the girl behind the counter selling the Pizza, one Bridget Sarcone (not her real name). He of course would not ask her to go out on a date in front of his rich friends. Now he put the address of the place on a napkin and vowed to come back alone and talk to Bridget, a mix of Irish and Italian immigrant stock. 

Maybe they could go out on a date and maybe she could introduce him to Philly Cheese Steaks and Italian Hoagies. He had heard about them somewhere in the background noise of the Philly Streets. etc. 

Well Donald's napkin with the address was left in the pocket of a shirt and got laundered and was unreadable and worse than than the ink had bled though and ruined a very expensive made in Hong Kong shirt. 

Watching and fantasizing on those lazy movie afternoons were a prelude to his buying the old 1920s Florida estate of some long forgotten billionaire heiress, Mar-a-Lago, and the decadent Gatsby style parties he would throw there to attract the Bridget Sarcone of his dreams - a dead ringer in his memory of the film persona of Mia Farrow - Daisy - oh the ships that have sailed to Troy and crashed onto the rocks with the image of Mia on their seafaring fevered little brains. 

It all came together in his mind, Castle, Estate, Robert Redford, Pizza, Cheese Steak, Hoagie and the dozen times and afternoons he watched that horrible Great Gatsby movie rather than work.

In the end, the movie was real and reality was a movie and Donald Trump's whole life was not even as good as a bomb movie he once watched in a Village film house. 

The End


Saturday, March 18, 2017

"Mick" Mulvaney's Compassionate Catholic Values Budget

I was reminded of some article I wanted to write for a year or two now.

And it is more of a pet peeve and it goes back to the young buck who tried to fire me in my old job because he had a mandate to get rid of me, a whistleblower of sorts to HR about sexual harassment to myself among others and because I was over 50 and the benefits budget for healthcare apparently more so tiered to more and higher actuary figures, high premium tiers for old people. 

That said, the young buck was raised in upstate Westchester county type country and gleaning facts here and there, the bottom line is that Jack was educated from 1st grade to college degree in private Catholic education. 

Nothing wrong with that. But I have noticed this lately of a lot of politicians on the right DO NOT have what I consider traditional Christian values even though the religions checked for them next to a preference or a poll finding box is marked as that of "Christian" and or "Catholic".

Jack the supervisor made a comment to me one day, eating lunch at my desk about the smell. I explained to him that I was eating a tin of sardines in mustard which I did not think smelled. If you want me to eat sweet smelling food, don't ask me to work and to eat in on my lunch hour. Besides it was in the drawer with some crackers in a small tin and I had no money to buy the five dollar baloney sandwich in the company's Manhattan cafeteria, the cheapest item on the menu btw. I would usually go to this nearby fast food Chinese joint Kip's and get a Won Ton soup for a buck and a quarter and eat it outside in a small cubby hole urban park next door summer and winter. Oh the glory of Manhattan wages frozen since Reagan!

Aside from the ascetics of the thing, his look when I announced it was canned fish, I will remember the strange look on his face, to the day I die. One of disgust and of his pseudo-Patrician nose up in the air. How third world of you Mike?

A few more words of poor communication, more from his Catholic college educated side, than from my many self-helped book and college Psych courses labeled as or related to human communication. 

I finally asked if he had ever eaten sardines or canned fish. And again the disgusted look like I was the one covered in shit and he did not approve of my presence. This all in a face to face, my desk top across to a workstation where he was opening Fed EX packages containing certified checks and stock certificates. This is an area a lot of companies cash "The Cage" where raw cash or negotiables like bearer bonds are kept behind locked doors w/o windows.  The "Cage" tag no doubt goes back to 19th century banks, and brokerage houses where such a secured area was usually behind metal bars and locked doors. Of course in the old days, such places also handled gold bars etc. ...

This is where my own life experience kinda went back to being a kid of five and accompanying my father to the supermarket and seeing cans of Underwood Brand sardines in mustard sauce in wrapped cellophane wrappers and the likely price too was like a dime. Ancient American History.

The thought that his kid never had sardines, fish in a can, "Yuk" he said and or gestured in body language was something sad. Something I had shared with my dad was not something this kid shared with his dad. I was ignorant and his son/dad experience of taking Jack out on the golf course at the country club and caddying for dad in the same way he no doubt ever went shopping in a supermarket with anybody other than mom or the illegal nanny. 

Anyway to get to a point where I realize how old and useless this millennial thinks of me and in the line of the new Wharton Global Spreadsheet that reduces humanity to negative assets on that global spreadsheet in corporate American and corporate "Global" earth. 

That something as simple to me as a can of sardines and crackers reminds me of the lack to (of) empathy the ruling class have in dealing with a work force, my old job in fact now outsourced to India, disappearing from the landscape and making dysfunction everywhere, both coasts and flyover country in between, of people educated in private little Catholic colleges in upstate New York and charging tuition little different than Harvard. 

The gate/wall around the gated community extends to the gate around the country club next door and extends to the White Burb Catholic Educated minds of the people who have never eaten fish in cans such as sardines?

I always thought that it was po' people food like sardines, fish, that Jesus multiplied for the mixed crowds, mostly poor, in the desert?

This as an awful long prelude to a point in the news where the White Suburban Catholic Educated (Values) WSCEV Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, an asshole from South Carolina, where else but from where the Civil War started, -  

John Michael "Mick" Mulvaney thought that it was compassionate to chop "Meals on Wheels" from the Trump mean spirited GOP budget. And also how an after school snack for po' kids was also not cost efficient on the Wharton Global Humanity Destroying Spreadsheet. Mulvaney - 1st grade through Georgetown University - Catholic educated and with good Catholic "Values".

Compassion is in the eyes of the beholder. No doubt the guards at Auschwitz thought that they were being compassionate to the Jew getting off the cattle cars from the central cities of Europe. 

Good German Christian and Catholic Values practiced then and greatly unappreciated now as well with "Mick" Mulvaney's Compassionate Catholic Values Budget. 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

This Is How We Make America Great Again!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery Vandalized in Philly

I used to have a photo(s) of ourselves, family, in fuzzy unfocused "Baby Brownie" Black and White, of ourselves on Memorial Day or the 4th of July picnics at Wissinoming Park in Philly of over fifty years ago. (Wissinoming - Lenni-Lenape word of "duck creek").

The photos might still exist but are in the hands of my gay brother in Phoenix who refuses to share them with me. Still victimizing his younger sibling after all these years and him pushing 70 - whatever. No love lost there.

Wissinoming Park is a nice little plain stretch of ground with big trees and a dried out impression or small creek bed that runs through the property, all that is left of some 19th century Philly robber baron's country estate. The mansion in the middle of the property is long gone. 

The significance of this park was that my father and his childhood family also picnicked there as a child, his childhood home nearby and now under I-95 across from the old Frankford Arsenal. 

In a small corner of this very tranquil piece of real estate was a tiny crowded cemetery, a Jewish cemetery with grave stones carved in English but mostly Hebrew. I say crowded because the whole scene is also surrounded by Cedar Hill Cemetery, the major secular cemetery that dominates the landscape north of the old town of Frankford. Some of my great-grandparents buried in there I was told by my wasp grandmother. I have yet to look up that Scots/Welsh branch of my family tree.

The town dates back to the Swedes before the Dutch and the English and the cemeteries were built post Civil War out in the farmland and countryside of Philadelphia County before all this was absorbed into a dense urban center full of factories and now a decaying hulk of a place. But the cemeteries escaped the fate of a lot of once country and then urban cemeteries that were condemned,  disemboweled, and moved on mass in boxed bones to other resting places further out into the outer suburban counties of Philly. 

The condemned cemeteries usually ended up as things desperately needed in the urban sprawl as playgrounds or supermarkets or supermarket with parking with other small stores, laundromats in what even in an urban setting is the traditional American Strip Mall.

But surprising there is a hill or higher land setting above the old town of Frankford which now ends as a terminus of the Frankford to downtown to Upper Darby elevated train. The old Frankford Road splits into a fork in the road at the entrance to Cedar Hill Cemetery into Bustleton Pike to the left and on the right old Bristol Pike now Frankford Avenue. - (The road to Bristol Pa. and Trenton N.J. beyond - and the oldest road - originally an Indian footpath in the state.) 

Long intro to the Hebrew Cemetery. and the recent tragic event in the news. I say this because between the decay of the old Frankford town and the fancy row houses that went up from the 20s to the 50s of post WWII Mayfair on farmland beyond is this brief land of cemeteries and a park that gives a welcome and calming shade of trees and green to the urban setting. 

Surprising to hear of the vandalism of the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery. There always through the years were acts of terrorism vandalism - some spray paint or the turning over of a gravestone or two in Cedar Hill or Mt. Carmel representing IMO more as act of teenage angst on a Saturday night with a couple of buds from the neighborhood sharing a six pack. 

While there were pockets of anti-Semitism in Philly, it was nothing what I see on TV or read about in Irish Catholic places like South Boston where the sub-culture there is no doubt back bay Brahmin in direct conflict with working class Irish American and somehow the Jews in between.

I have tried in the past few days to talk to some ppl on Twitter who use the desecration of the Mt. Carmel cemetery as part of some great political plot under the current Russian Junta running the White House. 

I am in the middle working with memories of older than forty years from Philly, is the memory that the Quaker subculture was always unique in that tolerance was preached if not always practiced in Philly town square, i.e. the Know Nothing Riots of the 1840s that inspired the RC archdiocese to build a separate and in many ways superior school system for children of that particular belief system. But alas that RCAD only has a few token minority catering high schools left in the inner city to supplement its premiere in the suburb rich white Catholic education business. 

I should say that Mr. Carmel was built on a tiny lot, photo below and a text of sort in comment of the current political situation - daily ten minute 1984-style Fake Hates out of the Trump Whore White House. The tiny plot seemed overcrowded in the number of stones per square inch and always seemed to me to comply with the European concept of "ghetto".

I grew up near one of these forgotten and condemned Jewish Cemeteries in Harrowgate, Harrowgate and or the German Cemetery and or Jewish Cemetery on old urban maps. I grew up not even knowing that it was and or once was there. I in a way am a very minor contributor to not letting forgotten Philly and or Harrowgate history slip away into the nothingness of dumbed-down American nothing recognition of the past. Those who do not know of or understand the past are condemned to relive the worst parts of that past etc.

My sometimes hobby is making up a Find a Grave entry for forgotten Philadelphians. I ran into the fact of the old Harrowgate Jewish Cemetery and resurrected the memory of a rabbi once buried there before being moved elsewhere. At the time I did not know that the Cemetery did not still exist. The spot on the map in a Google satellite image is still green etc. I am not perfect but it bothers me that some ppl in Philly died after their children or never married and people who made major contributions to the history of the area are forgotten to the present.  So below one of my grave entries and that in some cases get adopted and managed by others more enthusiastic than moi on the person and or subject matter. Doing my part as part-time amateur historian.

In a way I am here to be along with real citizens and volunteers especially Muslims in Philly to if only virtually restore overturned Jewish grave makers of once free and equal living Philadelphians, I am here to help not lose our valuable American heritage to the current Russian/Nazi Hate generating out of the White House and descended into the apes Republican KKK Party.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Citizens United 2 Donald Trump = 7 Years - Disaster of Biblical Proportions

Citizens United* 
Donald Trump*
(21 Jan 2010 ~ 20 Jan 2017)
7 years 


Friday, February 17, 2017

The Incredibly Disappointing HBO Series "The Young Pope"

The Incredibly Disappointing HBO Series "The Young Pope"

Since I am already a cultural Christian and have twelve years of Catholic education I could get into the language and concepts that this extremely well written series presented in the Roman Catholic Pagan traditions and ritual that go back to the sun god Alexander the Great several hundred years before the common era on the calendar. 

Being a distant none-Catholic makes it easy to understand what the actors in their impeccable dress and fabulous stage sets were attempting to do with "The Young Pope" starring actor Jude Law as Pope Pius XIII and his search, a learning curve (really), for God even after he has been elected the youngest pope in centuries of the crusty old Vatican business HQ.

The opening premise has all the old men, the cardinals, wondering how they elected such a young, and American pope (British actor Law doing this w/an American accent) as Lenny Belardo, a cardinal somehow of one of the dioceses of NYC. In episode nine, the best episode of the series, Belardo had somehow at one time "Shared power" with pedophile archbishop Kurtwell of Queens. (Queens is not a diocese but part of the Brooklyn-Queens Diocese) Kurtwell now under investigation for the Vatican in New York in the person of almost falling down constantly drunk Monsignor Father, soon to be cardinal, Gutierrez, one time rector of St. Peter's Basilica and its passages and crypts below. It is Gutierrez who Pius XIII befriends and talks and walks around at night in the basilica to find out the down and dirty of everything political in the Vatican. 

Pius imports Sister Mary to be his gatekeeper. Sister Mary was the nun who was in charge of Lenny in the orphanage when his hippy parents dumped him there in order to travel lighter on a "trip to Venice". This is a background theme of the whole series episodes 1-10 - both the separation anxiety of being dumped by his parents and the floating protection of the substitute mother figure of Sister Mary, played beautifully by actress Diane Keaton.